The county government in Marion County, Florida (which includes Ocala, for the geographically challenged) will no longer hire people who use tobacco in any form. Potential employees must sign an affidavit swearing they have not used tobacco products within a year prior to employment. The rule applies to all departments under county government but does not apply to current employees of the county government or current/future employees of the county's constitutional offices (such as the Sheriff's office, tax collector's office, etc).
The powers that be say this is being done to cut health insurance costs. Ok fine, I can go along with that but I'd actually like to see the data. Are health insurance premiums for companies and government agencies actually reduced if the employees do not smoke?
What about people who drink? Smoking is becoming less frequent these days but people still drink. And drinking can cause problems just like tobacco. Are we
When will it end?
And what IF a person applies for employment in the Marion County government and elects not to choose the county health insurance program because perhaps their spouse has a better insurance with their job or for some other reason. Are they still not able to be hired? I mean after all if they're not insured through the county there's no risk right? If this reason for not hiring tobacco users is solely because of health insurance, then that person shouldn't be excluded from hiring if they are qualified.
Personally I think that a private company should be able to hire whomever they want just as I think landlords should be able to rent to whomever they want and so on and so on. However the government, which provides services to all of us, and to whom we all pay taxes to, should not be in the business of discriminating against individuals because of personal habits.
However.....there is the insurance issue....so I am wondering, is this ok?